Sunday, February 8, 2015
The temps hit mid-forties this weekend. In the middle of February, you take any opportunity to check on the girls and make sure they have plenty of food. My last check was disappointing. Mint hive was the only one that showed any significant activity, and yellow hive had died. I since made a sugar cake, just incase, and upon tapping on the hives a few times over the past week or two, I was relieved to hear some signs of life. But I wasn’t sure of their current states until today…
Pink Hive – This is what you want to see when you lift the cover…
Mint Green Hive – A smaller cluster, but still going.
Green Hive – Small, tight cluster – looking good.
Blue Hive – I could see how they were doing before I even lifted the lid.
Blue hive – strong on the inside too!
Yay, four hives still going. As happy as I was to see them, they weren’t happy at all to see me. Mean little buggers. I love my bees, but they really need to learn to be more gracious to the beekeeper who feeds them!
I’m never too optimistic for fear of jinxing them. Anything can happen at any time, and we still have another solid month and half of cold weather (6 weeks at least if you listen to Mr. Groundhog). They say March timeframe is one of the riskiest – that’s often when hives start to become active and can easily starve if they don’t have enough stores. I’ll keep another sugar cake in reserve, just for added insurance. As for why yellow hive died out – that’s a good question – who knows, mites, starvation. I need to pull the boxes apart and inspect further, but if I’m not mistaken, that’s the only hive that never had a Texas queen. My Texas bees are hardy and they seemed to thrive in the cold weather last year. So this year I’ll try to split more hives from my Texas girls. We really need to work on their temperaments though.
Here’s to wishing away the winter blahs and hoping for an early spring!